Update your gym essentials with OffCourt, the newly founded label combatting the negative side effects of sweating. Founded by Jon Lawrence and Bani Bahari in 2021, the brand formulates premium products for active men who sweat and shower frequently.
OffCourt’s inaugural product, the Performance Body Spray, serves as a 2-in-1 deodorant cologne that boasts active ingredients and powerful deodorizing agents. As easy as spraying the underarm to target body odor or all over as a cologne, the aluminum-free product is formulated using prebiotics—a dietary fiber that fuels good bacteria and fights body odor.
It’s currently available in three scents that last six to twelve hours: “Fresh Citron + Driftwood,” “Coconut Water + Sandalwood,” and “Fig Leaves + White Musk.” The first contains a light citrus scent profile with hints of mandarin, cedarwood, and patchouli, while the second scent boasts hints of bergamot, black pepper, coconut water, and sandalwood. Meanwhile, the “Fig Leaves + White Musk” is a medium green scent profile with lime, fig leaves, rosewood, cedar, and white musk among other ingredients. Not to mention, OffCourt recently collaborated with luxury NYC and LA-based gym DOGPOUND for an exclusive, gender-neutral scent dubbed “Citrus + Suede.” Arriving in a sleek black-and-white container, the scent contains sparkling citrus, suede, vetiver, and moss-oak.
Elsewhere, OffCourt’s Light-Weight Facial Hydrator is comprised of a lightweight formula that absorbs into the skin without leaving a slimy residue on the skin, giving your typical moisturizer a run for its money. The hydrator is the perfect product for post-workout, utilizing creatine to energize the skin and build firmness within the skin. Both products, having high-quality ingredients and attractive packaging, are shockingly affordable with a price tag of under $15 USD.
To learn more about OffCourt, we spoke with co-founder Bani Bahari to discuss the brand’s product lineup, prebiotics in essentials, the men’s grooming industry, and more.
OffCourt officially launched in 2021, dedicated to creating products that tackle the negative sides of sweating. How did the concept for the brand develop?
It’s very interesting because it wasn’t our first idea. In 2018, we interviewed 300 men, and the more we learned about their lifestyle, we found that the modern athlete that might not necessarily exercise all day but goes to the gym and is really active, there was nothing on the market to fit that lifestyle. Everyone we talked to is active in one way or another so can we create the perfect product that has a use-case for them? We took that to our chemists and asked if we could elevate the basics to meet the needs of that lifestyle.
Body spray is the perfect example because the current ones on the market are either antiperspirants or fragrances in a can format. When you apply, it’s basically like wearing a cologne over a sweaty body. What we did was create a very strong base that manages the odor and led us to make a fragrance that is light and refreshing on top of it. The mindset we have for every product is can we take something that is basic or an afterthought on the market and make it fit for the average active guy.
There’s a strong focus on providing active men with high-quality products that look and smell great—what type of person did you envision when initially creating the brand?
There are obviously a lot of skincare brands out there, but there are a few things that we really care about. One of them is the accessibility of the product, really being high-quality, clean, and non-toxic but also affordable. That is the number one criteria for us, but also, products that are very multifunctional. What we learned about our market is that the multi-step beauty playbook doesn’t apply. The thing that people love about this body spray is that they can apply it under their arms for odor but it’s also a fragrance so they can add it to their body and all of that is at a price tag of $11 USD.
My husband, Jon, who’s also the co-founder has used most of the products in the market. He’s an avid user of grooming products and one of the things he talked about was how men’s stuff felt outdated and old. The premium stuff is so expensive that he could never justify them. He was the archetype for the customer we were initially formulated and it’s very interesting because that has changed since introducing a lot of the younger audience to the brand with TikTok.
The Performance Body Spray comes in a range of scents, including “Fresh Citron + Driftwood,” “Fig Leaves + White Musk,” and “Coconut Water + Sandalwood.” Could you expand on the importance of fragrance in men’s grooming products and the decision behind these three?
Initially, we were going to launch with one scent, but people need options. Since the customer is someone who is active and sweaty, the fragrance doesn’t need to be overpowering, but rather fresh and modern. We worked with one of the best fragrance consultants in the world and decided that we wanted one thing in the citrus family, this one is very fresh and citrus-forward. Then we wanted something in the greener category, the “Fig Leaves + White Musk” is very spring and unique. We also wanted something a bit darker and “Coconut Water + Sandalwood” is non-overpowering, but has a wooden base to them.
We have new scents coming up in different categories, and the goal for us is to create something fresh that most people like even though it’s a personal product. We want something that gives you that fresh pre-workout or post-workout vibe.
Let’s talk about prebiotics—can you inform those who might not be familiar with the term what it does exactly?
Prebiotics are fairly common in personal care. The skin flora is comprised of microbiomes so there are good bacteria and bad bacteria. The bad bacteria are the ones that on the skin, they cause acne or blackheads, however on the body, they are responsible for odor. Prebiotics are the food for good bacteria so by feeding the bacteria, you hopefully increase the population of them on the flora over time. We have quite a bit in our formulas. One of the things that we plan on doing is the clinical testing behind these claims.
As men become more interested in beauty and grooming, especially by way of athletes and content creators, social media presence is growing increasingly important for DTC brands. How is OffCourt tackling platforms like Instagram?
The biggest focus for us is TikTok, we have a creator who is the face of the brand and he puts out quite a bit of content. We also send products to people we think would like and enjoy the product. They have no obligations to post, but many of them do. We haven’t done mass advertising at this point, but we send products to a lot of guys and develop those relationships. Most of it right now is on TikTok, but for us, Instagram can be interesting. It’s maybe a bit more millennial-focused but guys aren’t really there to follow deodorant so it’s where people come to get an introduction to the brand.
With that being said, physical stores are also still important as well, do you have any plans of hitting the shelves at different retailers and stockists in the coming years?
Absolutely! Very quickly after we launched our brand, we launched at Urban Outfitters nationwide and we are on Amazon as well. With the goal for us, as we bring more skews and grow to be at other national retailers. We are at many online boutiques like Shen Beauty and Birch Box and some physical stores across the country that are curated for men.
Last year, the label collaborated with Kirk Myers’ DOGPOUND for an ultra-premium, gender-neutral fragrance body spray—how do you approach what brands to work with?
The DOGPOUND collaboration happened very organically, it was a dream. When we launched the brand, we sent Kirk Myers one of our trio packs and we wrote him a note saying that we hope to collaborate with him. We just put out it there not expecting anything to happen then he got in touch with us saying that he loves the product and thinks it’s a perfect product for someone who comes to the gym and doesn’t necessarily go home and shower but runs errands. It’s for those moments of sweat.
We were thrilled to have this partnership with them. We made a signature scent that is maybe a little more luxe than our signature products and maybe a bit more unisex. I think a large percentage of DOGPOUND customers are women so we wanted to make sure that premium and even more inclusive than are brand aesthetic is in that fragrance.
Tell us about Light-Weight Facial Hydrator, what made you choose this as the second product to launch?
When we were interviewing people and asking what do they not like about their facial products, one of the most common stories we heard was guys going to the gym during the summer and as their outside, the moisturizer became heavy and slimy. They just wanted to clear their skin or towel off the face cream. So we took that information to our chemists and asked if they could create something that doesn’t become this hot and sticky mess. I think we’ve succeeded in creating that because it’s very lightweight and oil-free.
If you sweat, it doesn’t sweat with you. Although it’s lightweight, it provides deep hydration and it has a lot of Vitamin C and prebiotics that helps with the smoothness and appearance of the skin.
Going back to the grooming industry, what are men seeking in grooming and shaving products now versus maybe a years ago before the current “men’s beauty boom”?
Depending on who you’re targeting, there are absolutely different needs. One of them is the customer is more educated than ever, they want better products. They might not if the product is clean, but they show the product to a woman in their life or they are intrigued to know if the product is natural. It’s more important than ever for everyone in this industry, whether it be consumer or retailer, to know the product. Second, I think our customer needs really nice fragrances. When we observe behavior in retail stories, the purchase behavior isn’t let me read this and understand every single thing. It’s nose test, if you pass the nose test then you have a new customer.
There are massive barriers to entry into the fragrance world, so for us, it’s important. I think guys also feel the skincare category has overpromised and underdelivered on the claims. So another we care about is not just marketing claims, but the functional aspect and actually seeing a difference and doing what the product promises.
As the brand continues to grow in size, what are some long-term goals you have for OffCourt?
The dream is to make the brand a household product in every gym bag and shower of every active person. We’re working towards creating products for that lifestyle. The goal for us is to develop a whole line of products that fits the active lifestyle and be synonymous with the person who is active.
Elsewhere in beauty, Isla Beauty is taking a no BS approach to skincare by cutting out the middle man.